Once in a Youth Conference - I remember well. I used to be a ladies man back in the day - I used to dance every song if I wanted at a Stake Dance. I am not bragging - that is simply how it was. I would serenade the girls during slow dances (big, small, cute, ugly) - and I always had my favorite slow songs with my favorite girls. I would still keep the requisite three BofM thicknesses away, but lean in enough to rest my head on her shoulder and softly sing into her ear. I remember Karen Van Horn who loved Lover Boy (Vancouver, BC rock group). Her favorite song was "When It's Over"...... (click link). We always danced to "Turn Me Loose". Our favorite slow song was Mike Reno from Lover Boy and lead singer of Heart (Seattle band) Anne Wilson, Paradise (click link). So, if one of the Lover Boy hits came on, she was the go to girl for that particular song. We just had our routine - she requested our Lover Boy thing. I obliged her completely. Different girls, different routine. David Lee Roth on "Jump" for Mary McCarty - until I did the splits like in the music video and accidentally clipped her ear, drawing blood and ripped out the crotch of my Levi 501s at the same time..... Not the best moment.... I never really paired off with any one girl - it just was not my nature. I always stayed aloof - for the most part. Dating was wonderful to me. I knew I was to get serious once I was back from my mission and marriage was a possibility. I was married to schooling at the time. I was laser focused on setting up my future - but loved my associations with the wonderful young women that passed through my life at the time.
I remember one Stake Youth Conference where we had the conference out in the San Juans - in the forest. I was a junior in HS - but had a summer job, so I had to come and go once or twice in the evening since I could not get my shift off at the Bellingham Best (Jafco) store. I was asked to help set the camp up and worked with Brother Adair, using his pickup to haul food and equipment to the site. It was a slightly dilapidated summer camp - but the rusticity of it was where the soul of it lay. The open air hall where we had set up sound equipment for the dance. Magical - and they played the usual songs. Karen and I danced that song. I was out cooling off and getting a drink from the refreshment table, off the dance floor when the song came on. I raced into the floor, saw Karen - pointing to her from across the floor - with that look on my face. She ran into my arms and we did our thing. Wonderful, wonderful memories of her. She was a year or two older than I was and we "hung out" because she would always drive out to our place in the county in a brand new convertible Z-28 her daddy had just bought her. I will never forget that it was an IROC Z-28 that had the hood scoop with active intakes that would open up when she would step on it (in neutral - just to show it off). It was a treat to go cruise and be with friends when Karen was running the show - it was my way to get around before I had my own wheels. She was a bench mark at that age for the kind of woman I wanted to marry. Vivacious, fun, clean - demanding that any young man she dated consider marriage at one point only if they were an RM. In other words - get in line for the MTC, or get out of the way. We never were romantically (kissing) involved - but she and I had a connection that I have always cherished. She was kind of like that big sis I always wanted - but did not have at that age (older brother above me in age).
So, we had this fun dance on the closing night of camp and then we were allowed to stay for Sacrament Meeting the next morning before leaving for home. It was a fast and testimony meeting on those half-split log benches under the firs. The weather was cool and breezy - perfect. I remember feeling that I needed to bear my testimony. I was getting one - had already had the baptism by fire experience and Seminary was bolstering what I knew. I had read the Book of Mormon - and knew. I did not have my intimate testimony of Joseph Smith at that point - I kind of knew, but was not logical enough at that point to make the connection of him as the translator of the Book of Mormon, therefore, if it were true - then he were a true Prophet of the Lord. That testimony came later as I read Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith several months before leaving on my mission. My soul and spirit are in lock-step with that man. And this is why I have taken SERIOUS offense to those who blaspheme his name - who should know better than to do so.
As I got through the first several testimonies, the urge to stand and bear witness, consumed me. Finally, I popped up and opened my mouth. The tears began to come uncontrollably. Here was this big, fun-loving 190 lb guy sobbing like a baby. It took what felt like hours to compose myself and finally finished my simple testimony. I cried as hard that day as I did the night I soaked my pillow. I do not recall much more detail than this, but I have to wonder if what I felt that night was brought back to me like a flood. No one of my peers had ever seen me do this - and I remember things being a little awkward around some of those girls and boys that I had been so freely dancing with the night before. At that point, I kind of realized that I had grown up spiritually - and did not care what others thought. I was expressing my heart. I have been this way since - I simply do not care what others think of me. I would make myself more openly known on the blog - but I do not because dealing with stalkers and mentally unstable people is no fun. Emotional vampires.....
So, here is this series of comments, I wanted to get out there. Commenter - thanks for sharing. Not sure if this is a personal experience - or transcribed from a book or journal:
AnonymousDecember 14, 2015 at 8:29 PM